Vacation Highlights Part 1: Family Time

After a wonderful vacation we are back to our home sweet home in New York.  We loved spending time with family and friends in Oregon this past week and as promised I will share some highlights with all of you.

The Halvorson family weekend

We started our family catch-up time on friday May 3rd with lunch at a favorite coffee spot in Newberg with my parents.  Luke and I shared a gluten free sandwich and got irish cream mint mochas: Yummy!! During this my bro and his fiancé spared a few seconds of their precious time to say hi. After food, excited talks, and quick weekend scheduling Luke and I drove to Champoeg (sounds like shampoo with an e on the end) state park where my grandparents had been camping. After touring their new camping vehicle, we  drove into town to get our fix of  savory and spicy northwestern teriyaki.

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Next day May 4th was graduation. That afternoon we met my parents at the George Fox University gym to get our tickets. It was crowded and it was hot sitting on those wood bleachers but it was worth it to spend time with my family (3 grandparents, and Matt and Stina’s parents, and siblings) all there to proudly represent and yell for Matt and Stina as they walked across the stage. After commencement, we celebrated with dinner at a local Italian restaurant. Next stop was a dessert reception held for the many graduates involved in my brothers church.

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Matt graduated with a BA in Civil Engineering and Stina with a BA in Mathematics

Sunday was a series of progressive goodbyes. We started with a full group at church and lunch at a local sub shop (no bread this time but an awesome salad) then it was time to say goodbye to my grandparents, Stina, and her family.  After some quiet afternoon regrouping the rest of us decided to have some mind-less fun at Bullwinkles. Although I came in last at our round of mini-golf, I was proud of myself for not throwing my little purple golf ball at one of the holes or into a pond. We finished our outing with a round of burgers and way too many steak fries at Red Robin  (once again gluten free bun and all). Then it was a round of hugs and more goodbyes to my parents and brother with reminders we would see everyone in August for the wedding.

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The Greene weekdays

Tuesday

Monday, Thursday, and Friday of the next week were date days and time with friends (don’t worry that’ll be another blog). But on Tuesday May 7th we had some Portland fun with Luke’s parents. We started our adventure at the Portland Japanese Garden. For Luke and I it was a bit sentimental since this was the first stop on our honeymoon. It is a well kept beautiful garden full of fountains, bridges, waterfalls, and archways. But enough of my words, here are pictures to prove it:

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Diana and John (aka Luke’s parents or the in-laws)

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After this peaceful garden stroll, we headed downtown to the famous Powells city of books. This building (a full city block of books) has so many odd directional levels that they name them by color not number.  After carrying around armfuls of maybes and asking advice from each other on what to get, we finally strategized how to book-share and brought our final purchases to the check-out area before we spent any more money.

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Excited about our new reading material, we drove to Hopsworks a local organic microbrewery for dinner. Diana (Luke’s Mom) was able to get an organic meal and beer which is quite a luxury for her. Once again I was able to get a gluten free bun for my proscitto and chicken sandwich served with organic french fries. All of their beers are organic but not barley-free  so I opted for a hopped-up organic hard cider instead.

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Wednesday

The next day (May 8th) we split off by gender. Luke and John went scouting for fishing spots, bought fishing supplies for John, and picked up the family boat to bring to their house. After a successful trip to Old Navy Diana and I got lunch at Life Source, a local organic and natural food store and did some grocery shopping.

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My lunch: organic salad and slice of vegetarian enchilada with a grapefruit chamomile soda

For this simpler day we made dinner at home then enjoyed some organic ice cream and a few rounds of the board game Ticket to Ride.

Among the dinners and outings were many early morning coffee/tea talks and afternoon couch conversations where we caught up on life, told stories, and look forward to what was ahead. It was hard to say goodbye to family but we cherish the time we had with them and look forward to seeing everyone for another round of celebrations in August!

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